In 1897, the Marist Brothers were invited by Archbishop O'Reilly to open a school for boys in Port Adelaide. The Brothers opened two schools, Sacred Heart High School and Catholic Boys' Primary school. The first Principal was Brother Stephen Debourg. By 1900, the Marist Brothers had begun to take in boarders. During the first ten years Sacred Heart High School changed its location twice to provide room for the increasing number of students.
In 1914, Sacred Heart High School moved to the present location at Somerton Park. It was renamed Sacred Heart College and provided education for day students and boarders from Year 4 to Leaving Honours.
The early years saw Paringa Hall used for all aspects of school life which included classrooms, dormitories and dining rooms, and home to the Brothers. As the enrolment increased, a building programme was commenced that eventually built up the teaching area around the central covered quadrangle.
The need for boarding places increased as well. In 1960, the Marian Wing was opened allowing the boarders to have their purpose-built space. Later a senior boys' boarding house was opened and this was followed in 1998 by a girls' boarding house. 1977 saw a major change to the College. Sacred Heart College became part of the SW Region scheme and moved to become a Senior College catering for the final three years of secondary education. Sacred Heart College Middle School was also established at this time and was previously conducted as St Joseph's College from 1967. St Joseph's was for boys in Years 5 - 10 which aimed to serve families of the local parishes. It is now a member of Marist Schools Australia, a network of over 50 Marist Schools across Australia.
Sacred Heart College proudly remains a Marist school, constantly developing the Marist Charism among its staff and students.
From 2015, Sacred Heart College will comprise a Middle School Campus for Boys (Years 6-9) at Mitchell Park and a Senior School Campus, Co-educational for Years 10-12. This will be under the leadership of Principal, Mr Steve Byrne.